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Wing to adopt Green Dot initiative

PEORIA, Ill. -- The 182nd Airlift Wing announced its plans to implement the Green Dot violence-prevention initiative into its sexual assault prevention and response program this year.

The Air Force announced a three-year contract with the non-profit organization in December. Five Airmen from Peoria's Air National Guard unit join 1,500 Air Force personnel trained by March to reduce power-based, interpersonal violence, said a release from the Secretary of the Air Force's Public Affairs.

"The Green Dot concept is a way to visually represent our community to increase awareness to domestic abuse, sexual assault and hazing," said Lt. Col. Steven Thomas, the wing's executive officer and sexual assault response coordinator. "It relates to our Airmen, because most either have experienced abuse or personally know someone who has. The program helps to highlight the capability and magnitude individual choices have on combating abuse both in the military and in the civilian community."

Green Dot uses the allegory of colored dots on a white map, said Thomas. If a red dot marked an instance of domestic, sexual or hazing abuse, then unchecked violence could cause an entire blotched-red region of that map. The Green Dot program calls on every individual to replace those red dots and white spaces with green dots by actively preventing abuse and creating environments where abuse is not able to take root.

"As a service, our number one priority has and will continue to be response," said Chief Master Sgt. Melanie Noel, the senior enlisted advisor to the Air Force SAPR program. "However, in order to stop
violence before it occurs we must dedicate time to prevention. Helping our Airmen understand what they can do to prevent violence and how they can do it is the first step."

The new program brands and energizes of the Air Force's existing core values, said Thomas.

"My hope is you will see this take hold and be talked about by all ranks," said Thomas. "I think everyone would agree domestic abuse, sexual assault and hazing is something which has a negative effect on individuals and is not conducive with service at the 182nd Airlift Wing or within our communities."

Implementation of the Green Dot program will be part of a five-year strategy by the Air Force. The wing's leadership plans to begin by using public affairs products and the Community Action Information Board to highlight individual and unit actions that add green dots to the installation's community map, said Thomas.

(Information was used from a Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs news brief.)